This is our third week of waking up on Sunday morning to a box full of goodies from Arganica Farm Club. We’ve been pleased with our deliveries so far. The first week, I ordered the standard mix of produce for $25. Weeks 2 and 3, I ordered custom items, and this week we added meat to the mix, receiving 1 1/2 pounds of frozen pork loin from a farm near Harrisonburg. The big challenge has been to use every bit of our purchase so that I can justify the cost. So far we have wasted one over-ripe Avocado.
Last evening I prepared a meal using some of the contents of our Sunday delivery – Pork Loin Marsala made with Cremini Mushrooms, steamed Spinach, and boiled Carrots drowned in butter. Everything was delicious.
Pork Loin Marsala
Mix salt and oregano in a bowl.
Coat pork loin or tenderloin with mixture.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add pork to skillet and brown well on all sides.
Add garlic and sliced mushrooms to skillet and stir.
Stir in wine, scraping the skillet.
Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Internal temperature of pork should be 145 degrees - if you're in doubt, use a meat thermometer.
A few people who have started eating Paleo recently have asked about weight loss plateaus. They’ve lost 5-6 pounds rapidly, and have stopped losing. I remember a couple of times when I seemed ‘stuck’, but it never lasted very long. I recall that, in the beginning, I was not in a big hurry to lose weight – I knew from past experience that when pounds are lost slowly, they are more likely to stay off. Although I never deprived myself or went hungry, I did substitute a large salad for a normal meal a few times to jump-start the weight loss again.
I looked up my weight loss record for the past year on FitDay and the graph is posted above. I have leveled off and stay within 3 pounds of my goal weight (starting weight 156, goal 126, low 124), which is amazing to me considering I don’t count calories at all and my weekly calorie consumption probably varies widely.
Mark’s Daily Apple has a good post on primal weight loss plateaus here.
The other night Jay was given some clams, so he made these wonderful clams casino. He mixed butter, chopped onions and chopped green pepper, spread it on the clams, topped each one with a piece of half-cooked bacon, and broiled them for 10 minutes.
“Now, we don’t buy food, diapers, or car insurance through our employers, so why in the world do we buy health insurance this way? It’s not because it’s more efficient for every car dealership and paper towel manufacturer to learn the ins and outs of administering a health insurance plan. It’s because we can buy health insurance through our employer with pre-tax dollars. No such luck if you want to buy your own health insurance package. And it’s not really even insurance anymore, since we use it to pay for almost everything, from a routine blood test to a routine physical—which makes about as much sense as using car insurance to pay for an oil change.” Read more …
This still life with peaches and insects was painted by German artist Georg Flegel. I don’t know if the insects are edible.
This weekend we dug up a good section of the fenced part of our back yard and started a vegetable garden. We’ve grown some vegetables and herbs on the porch before, but not tried yard gardening because the deer herd that frequents our yard eat up everything. Hopefully their little noses won’t fit through the fence! First plantings include butter lettuce and cauliflower.
This is my first recipe taken from Mark Sisson’s reader created coconut cookbook. You can get a free copy in PDF form by signing up for his mailing list. I got the raw coconut and organic chicken from Whole Foods. The red pepper sauce was especially good. It’s served with a salad sprinkled with a balsamic vinaigrette, strawberries, onions, and Maytag blue cheese. This blue cheese is the best I’ve ever had – we order a wheel occasionally.
I just placed our first order for a box of organic, local produce with Arganica Farm Club. It will be delivered to our door on Sunday. I can’t wait to see what we get!
HT to Free the Animal – check out Fat-Head the Movie.
From time to time I visit James Lilek’s ‘Gallery of Regrettable Food‘ to see if there’s anything new. One of my favorite’s is ‘Vegetable’s in All Their Glory‘. Not for the weak of stomach.
I like this Chardin still life of a water pitcher and garlic – Paleo staples. Chardin creates an atmospheric glow surrounding ordinary, everyday objects. For more Chardin, see the Art Renewal website.
Last night’s supper consisted of Bourbon Salmon from Fresh Market and mixed vegetables on the grill, watermelon and blackberries, and my favorite squash recipe.
To get the squishy consistency I like in my squash, I usually cook it for hours in a frying pan. To see if I could speed up the process and retain the flavor, I tried the pressure cooker. It worked – delicious squishy squash in less than an hour!
Pressure Cooker Squash
Start cooking the bacon in the bottom of the pressure cooker with the lid off while chopping the vegetables.
Add squash, onion, salt and pepper to the pot.
Cover, bring to pressure and cook 15 minutes.
Stir and serve immediately, or transfer to a stovetop pan and continue cooking until juices are reduced.
Sample Day’s Meals
I thought I’d post a sample of a day’s menu. Yesterday was unique because I ate three meals – I was hungry! I normally eat fewer meals because I’m not hungry at one meal time. I was down a pound this morning.
Before / During / After Breakfast
3 cups of coffee with heavy whipping cream
Poached egg with a pat of butter
2 hot sausage patties
5-ounce beef tenderloin
large serving of steamed asparagus
Dinner (at Outback)
Blue Cheese Wedge Salad
Tilapia with Crabmeat
Unsweetened Ice Tea with Lime
1 glass Pinot Grigio (fell asleep before finishing)
Normally I get a steak at Outback, but since I had steak for lunch, I thought I’d try something different. Unfortunately, the crabmeat was a crab cake with breading on top of the tilapia. I scraped off the mushy breading and tried to eat around it. Next time – 6 oz. sirloin!
Pressure Cooker Fail
I have had two pressure cooker failures. The first was Thai Chicken. The chicken was not tender! I need to try again, and figure out how to cook the chicken so that it’s fall-apart tender.
The other was cabbage, and I know why. I cooked the whole cabbage for 8 minutes, and the outside was cooked while the inside was raw. Next time quarter the cabbage – duh!
Sugar and Cancer
Another addition to the sugar and cancer category from a Mayo Clinic doctor at the Chicago Tribune.